I just had to include this stove in my blog, as it is just so unusual, as the customer put it, ‘it is always a real talking point’! The customer had recently moved to the address in Debden from the East Suffolk area. He said that one of the main selling points of the house had been this unusual stove. As you can see it is a Jotul NR-4 Wood-Burning Stove, and which has a very retro appearance, which I suppose is not to everyone’s taste. The customer told me that he had read somewhere that the Jotul NR-4 is modeled on the monolithic statues found on Easter Island. The statues that Eric Von Daniken thought that aliens had visited the earth in ancient times in his book ‘Chariots of the Gods’. Looking at the stove I can see the resemblance now that the customer had mentioned it, the large flat nose and heavy brow ridges! Can you see the likeness too?
I could not find much information about these Jotul NR-4 stoves on the internet and they do not feature in the current Jotul stove range, so I’m guessing that they are no longer in production. I did see one for sale on EBay for just £525, a bargain I would say for such an unusual retro stove.
Jotul are a Norweigan company and have been making stoves and fireplaces for over 160 years. Jotul are proud of their global status, selling their products in 43 different countries spread over six continents – Truly a global brand!
Jøtul was founded by Oluf Onsum as Kværner Jernstøberi (Kværner Foundry) in the outskirts of Christiania (now Oslo) in 1853. While stoves initially were the main products, the company had diversified by the beginning of the 20th century, when it produced turbines and lumber equipment.
As the heating appliance manufacture decreased in importance, the production was spun off in 1916 and sold to Herman Anker, one of Kværner’s managers. He founded Jøtul AS in 1920 as a sales organization for its products. The sales stagnated during the depression in the 1920s, and 36-year-old Herman Anker died in 1927, leaving it to his successor, 34-year-old Johannes Gahr to modernize and eventually salvage the company. By 1935, the turnaround had succeeded, and the firm acquired its modern name.
By the 1960s, stoves using liquid fuels, especially kerosene had supplanted wood-burning appliances, a trend that was only reversed in the 1970s, partly due to the 1973 oil crisis. Jøtul used this opportunity to gain a strong international foothold and drastically increased its exports to continental Europe and North America.
The Gahr family sold the business to Norcem in 1977, and a period of international expansion began, as Jøtul acquired a number of foundries and importers abroad. This period lasted for approximately ten years, but came to an end during the recession in the late 1980s, when Jøtul once again focussed on the domestic market. However, it has resumed its international diversification in the 21st century, and today its products are sold worldwide.
In March 2018, Jøtul was acquired by the global private equity firm OpenGate Capital. Along with management, OpenGate has crafted a plan to boost performance and eliminate inefficiencies in Jøtul’s operations. In addition, OpenGate Capital is actively searching for add-on targets to further drive Jøtul’s growth. In November 2018, OpenGate and Jøtul completed the add-on acquisition of AICO, an Italian and French based pellet-burning stove leader.